For better or for worse, “Saturday Night Live’s” humorous treatment of national issues is a pretty good barometer for how seriously the country as a whole tends to take them.
And if Saturday’s night’s cold open is any indication, Democrats should be furious at how badly their so-called “torture report” has failed in its main goal of making the Bush administration’s war on terror look like some rogue operation that’s lowered America’s intelligence agencies to the animal level of the country’s Islamist enemies.
The sketch spoofing the PBS “Charlie Rose” show featured an interview with two psychologists, John “Bruce” Jessen and James Mitchell (“SNL” staffers Bobby Moynihan and Kyle Mooney) who contracted with the CIA to devise interrogation methods for terror suspects.
The gimmick? The two men described also being responsible for any number of “torture” techniques Americans are forced to undergo, like “customer service lines” that are about everything but customer service:
“When it starts with ‘marque duo por espanol,’ that’s not really a thing,” “Jessen” said.
“If you press 2, it just hangs up,” “Mitchell” explained.
As a comic bit, the sketch is a hoot.
But as indicator of how seriously the American public gives a damn about how the government treats enemies who wish to do us harm (and how little Democrats understand that), it speaks volumes.
The New York Times can keep spilling ink on its news pages and wringing its shocked editorial hands over “torture,” but the bottom line so far is, that dog won’t hunt.
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